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The Beauceron

Provided by the Working Beauceron Association

A working dog, herding dog, and family companion; the Beauceron was bred to do it all. A breed exclusively developed in France, the Berger de Beauce (also nicknamed Bas Rouge) history dates back to the late 1500s. In 1809, Abbé Rozier wrote an article on French herding dogs, in which he described the differences in type between the Beauceron and their closest relative, the Briard. It is here that the two breeds were separated by the terms Berger de Brie and Berger de Beauce for the first time. During its early development, the Beauceron was a general farm dog. Their daily tasks consisted of tending hundreds of head of sheep, protecting them from predators, and moving them from pasture to pasture for them to graze throughout the day. For generations, the Beauceron was rarely seen in the cities and only used in the rural regions of France. As those rural regions were urbanized, pastures became cross-fenced and the need for a tending Beauceron severely diminished. In order to save the breed from extinction, the Club les Amis du Beauceron (CAB) was formed to guide the development of the breed and maintain their herding heritage.

 

In mid- 20th century, Beaucerons became very popular due to their usage during the two World Wars. During the wars, Beaucerons were used to send messages between soldiers, detect mines in mine fields, and search and recover lost soldiers on the battle field. Their extreme versatility and adaptability made them excellent candidates for these war dog jobs and eventually sparked the interest of sport fanciers after the wars.

Due to their reputation during the wars as fearless guardians, Beaucerons were diversified to be used in various sports, one of which being French Ring. French Ring is a defense sport developed in France to test and evaluate a dog’s obedience, jumping, and protection capabilities. A successful French Ring dog embodies a stable temperament, a stable mind, and well put together body. Contrary to appearances, although they bite, French Ring and other defense sports do not develop aggressiveness. Play is used to teach the dog to bite and a Beauceron who practices these sports should also be able to perfectly adapt to social life within your family.

Another activity that the Beauceron has been adapted to is detection/Search and Rescue. The utilization of Beaucerons for mine detection and the searching of lost soldiers sparked the interest of many people to continue utilizing the Beauceron for Search and Rescue as well as detection. Today, many Beaucerons are still used for Urban and Wilderness Search and Rescue/Recovery as well as military or police work detecting explosives, narcotics, and other substances.

 

While the Beauceron has definitely been diversified to accomplish many things, it is still a herding dog at its core. “The Country Gentleman,” as described by the French writer Colette, is “affectionate, playful, superb with children, absolutely and deeply attached to their masters.” Their eagerness to please allows them to excel not only in their native tending style of herding but in herding all types of stock in multiple different ways. Today you can see Beaucerons competing alongside the top Border Collies in gathering sheep and the next day driving cattle with the Australian Cattle Dogs.

Health Concerns

Provided by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

The OFA created the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) by partnering with participating parent clubs to research and maintain information on the health issues prevalent in specific breeds. We’ve established a recommended protocol for breed-specific health screenings. Dogs tested in accordance with that protocol are recognized with a CHIC number and certification. The OFA, working with the breed's parent club, recommends the following basic health screening tests for all breeding stock. Dogs meeting these basic health screening requirements will be issued Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) numbers. For CHIC certification, all results do not need to be normal, but they must all be in the public domain so that responsible breeders can make more informed breeding decisions. For potential puppy buyers, CHIC certification is a good indicator the breeder responsibly factors good health into their selection criteria. The breed specific list below represents the basic health screening recommendations. It is not all-encompassing. There may be other health screening tests appropriate for this breed. And, there may be other health concerns for which there is no commonly accepted screening protocol available.

  • Hip Dysplasia

  • Cardiac Evaluation

  • Eye Examination- yearly beginning at age 2 and continuing until age 8

  • Elbow Dysplasia (Optional but recommended)

  • von Willebrand's Disease (Optional but recommended)

  • Autoimmune thyroiditis (Optional but recommended)

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The Working Beauceron Association Code of Ethics Requirements:

  • HIPS - Dogs/Bitches must have OFA Normal (Excellent, Good, or Fair) certification number or a PennHip assessment that is clear of hip dysplasia/osteoarthritis.

  • CARDIAC - Dogs/Bitches must be OFA Cardiac Normal by an echocardiogram with the evaluation performed by a board-certified cardiologist within 12 months of breeding.

  • EYES - Dogs/Bitches must be OFA Eyes Normal within 12 months of breeding.

  • ELBOWS - Dogs/Bitches must be OFA Elbows Normal.

  • CANINE HEALTH INFORMATION CENTER (CHIC) - Dogs/Bitches need to have an OFA Canine Health Information Center certificate at the time of breeding. The CHIC provides a source of health information for owners, breeders and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. Canine Health Information Center is intended to encourage health testing and sharing of all results, normal and abnormal, so that more informed breeding decisions can be made.

  • DNA - Dogs/Bitches that are phenotypically black and rust yet descend from any phenotypically harlequin ancestry within the first three generations must have a DNA merle test completed by UC Davis or Tilia and publicly available on OFA. Dogs/Bitches must be DNA tested for long-coat carrier status prior to breeding. All results must be provable.

  • TEMPERAMENT- Dogs/Bitches must be of sound temperament as described in the standard. To ensure better temperaments are being used, all breeding stock are recommended to have at least one of the following:

  1. a Tres Bon or better at the Working Beauceron Association’s Nationale d’ Elevage (or the French club’s equivalent);

  2. American Temperament Test Society passing evaluation;

  3. American Kennel Club’s CGCU title.

Any dogs/bitches that have been excused from any competition venue three (3) or more times for shyness or aggression cannot be used for breeding. Dogs/Bitches that have a Schutzhund/IPO/IGP BH or French CSAU are exempt from this requirement.

  • AGE - Dogs/Bitches must be at least two (2) years of age or older.

  • INJURY - Dogs/Bitches must meet all above requirements unless the dog/bitch has an injury which precludes one of the subsections on health testing. The injury must be both documentable and proven to be the direct cause of the ineligibility for passing the subsections health test(s).

  • OPTIONAL - It is optional to include shoulders, spines, dentition, genetic hearing and thyroid testing on breeding stock. It is strongly recommended that all Beaucerons used for breeding have a genetic profile completed by Embark or a similar entity.

© 2023 by Heritage Beaucerons.

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